follow us in feedly
Debbie Harry’s dress, Kim Gordon painting and other NYC punk artifacts in the Mudd Club rummage sale
11.18.2015
09:52 am

Topics:
A girl's best friend is her guitar
Fashion
History
Punk

Tags:


 
Though it only existed for five years, from 1978 to 1983, NYC’s Mudd Club served as one of New York—and American—underground culture’s most crucial incubators. Talking Heads and Blondie were fixtures there, and artists that emerged from the scene it galvanized included Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Madonna, the B-52s, Kathy Acker… you get the point. It was the gnarly, buoyantly creative flip-side of Studio 54’s disco-glamour coin, a lightning-in-a-bottle moment that can’t be recreated.
 

 
This week, Mudd Club co-founder Steve Mass has contrived a Mudd Club rummage sale to benefit the Bowery Mission, a long surviving homeless shelter/food kitchen that remains in NYC’s onetime Skid Row, now, like basically all of Lower Manhattan, a playground for the privileged. The event will be held on Thursday, November 19th, 2015 at Django at the Roxy Hotel. Admission ain’t cheap. It’s $200 a head to get in, but again, the money goes to a homeless mission. What that gets you is a chance to buy a Vivienne Westwood dress donated by Debbie Harry, an original painting donated by Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon, and other items donated by Sting, Maripol, Patti Smith, and other members of the Downtown demimonde.

Via Bedford and Bowery:

Mass assures us that, rather than being a Sotheby’s-style auction, the rummage sale will be “like we had it in the old days,” with $50 dollar trinkets casually laid out next to more expensive items. “If Marc Jacobs donates a dress from that period and it’s $4,000 or $5,000, it might be next to a pair of shoes of someone who lost them in the Mudd Club in 1980.”

That pastiche, Mass said, was true to the club’s sensibility. “We were merging all these disciplines, which hadn’t been done before in a club,” said Mass, citing the presence of filmmakers like Kathryn Bigelow, writers like Candace Bushnell and Jay McInerney, photographers like Cindy Sherman and Nan Goldin (both of whom are hosts), and fashion designers like Anna Sui (another host) and Marc Jacobs, both of whom had early shows there.

The event will be open-bar, and will feature performances by the B-52s Kate Pierson and the Patti Smith Group’s Lenny Kaye, plus DJs and more to be announced.

Here’s some BADASS footage of the Cramps at the Mudd Club in 1981, from the contemporary NYC access cable program “Paul Tschinkel’s Inner-Tube.”
 

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
The story behind the photo of Albert Einstein on the beach in those open-toed sandals
11.17.2015
02:55 pm

Topics:
Fashion
History

Tags:


 

Einstein and David Rothman, 1939

There’s actually great back-story to Albert Einstein and those open-toed sandals. The man pictured with Einstein above is David Rothman, and he was the one responsible for selling Einstein the fancy footwear back in 1939. From Chuck Rothman’s “Albert Einstein’s Long Island Summer”:

In the summer of 1939, Albert Einstein spent his summer on Nassau Point, in Peconic, NY on eastern Long Island. My grandfather, David Rothman, was owner of Rothman’s Department Store in nearby Southold.

One June day, Einstein came into the store. Of course, my grandfather recognized him at once. He decided, though, to treat him just like any other customer.

“Are you looking for something in particular?” he asked

“Sundials,” Einstein said in his thick German accent.

Now, Rothman’s has always had a large variety of items—just about everything from housewares, to fishing tackle and bait, to hardware, to toys, to appliances. But no sundials. Not for sale, anyway. But…

“I do have one in my back yard,” my grandfather said.

He led Einstein—who seems a bit bewildered—to the back yard, to show him the sundial. “If you need one you can have this.”

Einstein took one look and began to laugh. He pointed to his feet. “No. Sundials.”

Sandals. Those, he had.

E=mcFAAABUloussss! Who knew Einstein had such wonderful gams?!


 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
I’m with the Band(s): Intimate photographs of punk legends at CBGBs
11.16.2015
09:05 am

Topics:
Art
History
Pop Culture
Punk

Tags:

01bgbc01.jpg
 
Whether it’s the Left Bank, or Bloomsbury, or Sun Records in Memphis, the Cavern Club in Liverpool, or London’s King’s Road, there is always one location that becomes the focus for a new generation of artists, writers and musicians. In New York during the 1970s, this creative hub could be found in a venue called CBGBs where different bands came to play every night spearheading the punk and new wave movement and bringing about a small revolution which changed everything in its wake.

Amongst the musicians, writers and artists who played and hung out at Hilly Kristal’s club at 315 Bowery were conceptual artists Bettie Ringma and Marc H. Miller. Bettie had come from from Holland to the US, where she met Miller—a writer and photographer whose passion was for telling “stories with pictures, with ephemera and with a few carefully chosen words.” Together they started collaborating on various multi-media and conceptual artworks.

In late 1976, Marc and Bettie were drawn to the irresistible pull of creative energy buzzing out of CBGB’s. Most nights they went down to the venue and started documenting the bands and artists who appeared there:

Our first photograph of Bettie with the movers and shakers at CBGB was taken during our very first visit to the club in late 1976. Standing alone by the bar was one of Bettie’s favorite performers, the poet-rocker Patti Smith. At home at CBGB and a wee bit tipsy, Patti was more than happy to oblige our request for a picture with Bettie. Soon we were CBGB regulars, checking out the different bands and slowly adding to our collection of pictures.

Marc and Bettie’s original idea of creating “Paparazzi Self-Portraits” at this Bowery bar developed into the portfolio Bettie Visits CBGB—a documentary record of all the bands, musicians, artists and writers who hung out at the venue, with photographs becoming:

...a reflection of the new aesthetic emerging at CBGB, a contradictory mix of high and low culture energized by fun and humor, the lure of fame and fortune, and a cynical appreciation of the power of a good hype.

More of Marc and Bettie’s work from this punk era can be seen here.
 
003betpat003.jpg
 

Patti Smith was hanging around at the bar, but no one was taking pictures of her because she was super-shy. She posed with me and then just went away: some musicians are like that, they’re not into socialising. They’re just artists.

 
0debbet000.jpg
 

Debbie Harry is a really great singer. She had a very different style from what was emerging there at that time. She was not shy, but she was very aloof: you can see that in the picture, hiding half her face behind her hair. It wasn’t something she needed, because she was very pretty, she was the frontwoman. But it gave her safety.

 
0rambets067.jpg
 

I just love the Ramones. When their music starts I can’t sit still, I just have to start hopping and dancing, and I’m 71 now. We saw them live about 10 times: we would go out of our way to see them perform.

 
More of Marc and Bettie’s work after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
People partying their asses off in Cape Town, South Africa 1967-1969 (NSFW)
11.13.2015
10:02 am

Topics:
Art
History

Tags:

image
The Catacombs, 12 March 1969

Extraordinarily intimate portraits of the denizens of Cape Town, South Africa’s “Les Catacombs” nightclub taken by photographer Billy Monk in 1969, when he was working as a bouncer at the club. Monk also took pictures of the revelry, which he sold to the subjects. Monk’s friendship with many of the people in his photographs is perhaps the explanation for how he got such “let it all out hang out” type scenarios on film.

Monk’s contact sheets and negatives were found in 1982 by Jac de Villiers who arranged an exhibition at the Market Gallery in Johannesburg. Monk never saw the exhibition as he was shot dead in a fight two weeks after the show opened.

image
The Catacombs, 1968

image
The Catacombs, 3 March 1968

image
The Catacombs, October 1968

image
The Catacombs, 1968

 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Lewis Carroll’s haunting photographs, including the ‘real’ Alice in Wonderland (1856-1880)
11.12.2015
08:46 am

Topics:
History

Tags:

image
 
Charles Lutwidge Dodgson better known as “Lewis Carroll,” took up the then new art-form of photography in 1856. Over 3000 photographs were taken by Dodgson, but only 1000 have survived due to the passage of time and deliberate destruction. Fifty percent of Dodgson’s surviving work is of young girls, but he also photographed buildings skeletons, dolls, dogs, families, statues and trees.

Charles Dodgson quit photography in 1880. Apparently running a studio was too difficult and time-consuming for him.

The girl pictured with the short brown hair and bangs is Alice Pleasance Liddell. She was the inspiration for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
 
image

 

image

 

image
 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
‘Hobo nickels’: The super-old-school art of hand-sculpted coins
11.05.2015
11:44 am

Topics:
Art
History

Tags:

Willie Nelson hobo nickel
Willie Nelson “hobo nickel” by Aleksey Saburov
 
The origins of using coins as an artistic medium can be traced back to the late 1700s. Sometime around 1850, artists started altering the half-dime Seated Liberty coin to make it appear as though the “Goddess Liberty” (a title that was used as far back as ancient Rome, who knew) clad in a flowing dress seated upon a rock, was actually sitting on a toilet. Classy.
 
Hobo Nickel by George Washington ‘Bo’ Hughes
Hobo nickel by George Washington ‘Bo’ Hughes, early 1900s
 
One-eyed sailor Hobo nickel
 
In 1913, the “Buffalo nickel” (or “Indian Head”), became popular for coin carvers as it provided a larger, thicker canvas to work on - enabling artists to create more detailed pieces. Around that same time, two teenage transients (or “hobos”) Bertram ‘Bert’ Wiegand and George Washington ‘Bo’ Hughes met in a “jungle” (or a “hobo camp”) and quickly rose to prominence as masters in the trade.

Using chisels to alter coins, solid currency was easily had within the transient community who were then enabled to make money selling their carved coins (something that was especially useful during The Great Depression). Thus the adoption of the common reference for these defaced coins—“hobo nickles”—came to be. I’m sure some Dangerous Minds readers more enlightened with Americana than I, have heard this phrase before, but it was new to me and I suspect the artform for which it is named, will be new to many of you as well.
 
Hobo Nickel
 
Jack Torrance hobo nickel by Mr. The
Jack Torrance hobo nickel by Mr. The
 
More ‘hobo nickels’ after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Marilyn Monroe in a black wig, imitating Jackie Kennedy (1962)
11.05.2015
10:55 am

Topics:
Art
Fashion
History
Pop Culture

Tags:


 
Here are some photos of Marilyn Monroe you may have or may not have seen before. I’m so used to the iconic “blonde bombshell” images of Monroe, that I was slightly taken aback (in a pleasantly surprised way) when I saw these.

The photos were shot by Bert Stern for Vogue magazine in 1962 (six weeks before Monroe died). What you see are some outtakes from the the photoshoot. Monroe is paying homage to Jackie Kennedy by donning a black wig in the style popularized by the First Lady.

I love these.


 

 

 

 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Polaroid portraits from Amsterdam’s Red Light District, 1979-80 (NSFW)
11.03.2015
11:33 am

Topics:
Art
History

Tags:


 
Before hipster party photographers The Cobra Snake or Last Night’s Party, there was artists Marc H. Miller and Bettie Ringma who documented Amsterdam nightlife through Polaroids from 1979 through 1980.

Every night we headed out for 4 or 5 hours seeking customers in Amsterdam’s entertainment districts. Although at first we were not sure we would succeed, in retrospect I can see our success was virtually assured. Dutch art history is full of portraits done in bars and taverns, but apparently we were the first to update this tradition with instant photographs. Our Polaroid camera was a money machine fueled by alcohol; each photo sold for 6 guilders (approx. $3) and we usually took more than 50 pictures a night. We were soon a fixture of the city’s nightlife with many regular customers eager to get new pictures whenever we happened to cross their path.

The final product takes you inside the Red Light District and gives you a glorious glimpse of the bar scene and what debauchery one might find himself or herself in.

Again, some of these images are probably NSFW. You’ve been warned.

Café de Zon:


 

 

 
Café de Zon Exhibitionists:


 

 

 
The Turkish Bar Camlica:


 

 
More photos after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Beautiful color photographs of England during the 1920s
10.28.2015
09:09 am

Topics:
History

Tags:

0014lonbus20s.jpg
 
The summers seemed brighter, the weather warmer, the days more leisurely. The First World War—”the war to end all wars”—was long over and the 1920s began as a decade of great prosperity.

But by 1925 the years of plenty were over. The gap between rich and poor widened, with unemployment rife and beggars—many old soldiers—a common sight on the cities’ streets.

In 1926, a General Strike almost brought down the government when unions showed solidarity with one million mine workers who had been locked out of the mines by owners who wanted them to work more hours for less pay—a drop of 13% of the miners’ wages.

Where farming had once thrived, one in four farms were sold during the 1920s to pay to financial obligations—over 600,000 farmers went bankrupt.

Families were of a smaller size compared to Victorian families—with children educated until the age of fourteen. There was more freedom for middle class and upper class women—women over 30 were given the vote in 1918, which was finally extended to all women over the age of 21 in 1928.

In 1928, photographer Clifton R. Adams was commissioned by the National Geographic to document life in England. Adams’ beautiful Autochromes—a process of producing color images by using potato starch—present images that are seemingly at odds with the historical reality of the time, capturing the last of an England that was on the cusp of an irreversible change during the about the 1930s Depression.
 
009lonbus20s.jpg
 
0016lonbus20s.jpg
 
0023lonbus20s.jpg
 
England’s dreaming: More of Clifton R. Adams’ Autochromes, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘Black Sabbath—The Ten Year War’: Amazing promo artifact from 1978, with R. Crumb style artwork
10.20.2015
09:26 am

Topics:
Amusing
Art
History
Music

Tags:


 
Black Sabbath were a perfect badge for that puzzling frisson between early ‘70s rock’s gatekeepers and its actual fans. The gatekeepers, epitomized by the Rolling Stone staff, idolized the blandly folksy likes of James Taylor while compulsively slagging off the actual innovators who were making potent and lastingly influential music, not because the music was actually bad (though they’d tell you all day long that it was unlistenable), but because they couldn’t handle it’s heaviness. So you had a situation where the official chroniclers of the era’s music (with a few notable exceptions, of course) were 180º out of touch with the actual zeitgeist, handwaving the likes of Zeppelin, Purple and Sabbath as primitives and degenerates while informing their readers that the tepid sounds of Seals and Crofts were in fact what was really happening in music. I actually don’t understand why RS was ever taken seriously by rock fans as a source of information. If not for Matt Taibbi’s political/economic writing, it wouldn’t even be on my radar today.

But Sabbath got a great dig in against that plurality of critics who seemed to live on a different planet from rock music’s actual supportive fans—in 1978, they issued a promotional book called Black Sabbath—The Ten Year War. My attention was brought to its existence through a thread on I Love Music’s forums, posted by one Scott Seward, who I’m guessing might be the writer whose byline used to appear in the Village Voice, but don’t hold me to that. The book was a 9” square, 24-pager that appeared in time to publicize the Never Say Die album—the band’s last studio recording with founding singer Ozzy Osbourne until 2013—and which basically amounted to a HUGE potshot at greater rockcritdom, chronicling the band’s existence with negative press clippings scattered among shamelessy Crumb-derivative illustrations by one “F. Gutierrez,” of whose existence or career I’ve located no other evidence. Images reproduced here are from Seward’s ILXor thread, where you can see the entire book. Good luck procuring one—eBay has one for $75, and the Amazon marketplace seems unaware of its existence.
 

 

 
The Rolling Stone clip: Black Sabbath: Cream on Ice:

NEW YORK—“They’re cheap,” says the maven of the city’s rock and roll culturati. “When I saw them at the Fillmore, I thought they were awful. They’ll never make it, I thought. Well, I was Wrong. The kids gave them a standing ovation.

Black Sabbath is hardly what you want to hear in the background while you’re getting your hair shaped in the maroon gloom of the stylist’s in preparation for an evening of chit-chat around the vodka-filled hookah. The sound of Black Sabbath, as those around them fondly point out, is almost physically threatening.

Black Sabbath is making it big this year and no one knows why.

I don’t know what that writer got for the line “hardly what you want to hear in the background while you’re getting your hair shaped in the maroon gloom of the stylist’s in preparation for an evening of chit-chat around the vodka-filled hookah,” but he or she should have gotten life in solitary confinement.
 
Continues after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Page 3 of 172  < 1 2 3 4 5 >  Last ›